Demo Xbox 360 at GDC faces "red ring of death"

Posted by Mark Raby

San Francisco (CA) - Even official Microsoft demo units are not immune from the three-red-lights warning sign, indicating an Xbox 360 breakdown, as could be seen at this week's Game Developer's Conference.

At a Microsoft display, several Xbox 360s were lined up but one of them apparently wasn't working.  In fact, the front panel showed the penultimate sign of failure - three red rings around the Xbox power circle. BBC technology writer Darren Waters noticed the console and wrote about it on the BBC's dot.life blog.

Last year, Microsoft expanded its warranty program for the 360, citing in part countless reports of users experiencing the "red ring on death."  The company expects this to hit them with an extra $1 billion in repair and related costs.

"There's no way of knowing if this particular console was manufactured before or after Microsoft identified the problems with the machines.  But at the very least it's embarrassing for the company that its own stock of demo machines is still susceptible to the problem," said Waters.